Olight PL-Mini 2 Review (Sub Compact & Compact Weapon Light)

Today I am taking a look at the Olight PL-Mini 2, a weapon light from Olight designed for compacts and subcompact pistols. Thanks to Skyben for sending this Pl-Mini 2 to me to check out and test at the range.

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/bfjczyN

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging for the Olight PL-Mini 2 is much like other recent Olight’s with a white high quality cardboard outer box. On the inside, you have a pull out tray covered by a cardboard cover that contains the manual and a right angle torx key. The light, charger and accessories come housed in a plastic form fitted container. Included accessories are the PL-Mini 2 itself, Olight magnetic charger (Special for the PL Mini lights), a metal 1913 rail piece (Glock is preinstalled), 2 extra screws, and a T6 Torx wrench. Skyben also includes 2 extras, a small little battery case for CR123 batteries, and a USB flash drive sized LED light.

Construction

The light is built from anodized aluminium with a smooth fairly glossy finish. The rear left and right buttons are plastic, and designed to bet pulled down to actuate. Compared to the original PL-Mini the PL Mini 2 is shorter but a bit thicker in height.

The big difference here is the mount. It has the same quick detach lever as the PL2 RL that when unlocked you have to then push on this actuator to expand left and right the attachment point, I like this and it adds additional security incase the quick detach was to come unlatched, the light wont drop off your pistol. The element that the PL Mini 2 adds is that in the unlocked position the mount section then slides forward and backwards allowing you to get the rear end of the light to fit a wider selection of firearms.

For instance the original PL-Mini won’t fit on the rail section I have installed on my S&W Shield, the light is too long, but the PL-Mini 2 I am able to sift the light forward so that it will connect. For those of you wondering I am using a ReCover Tactical SHR9 Rail adapter, and it’s really a nice option for the shield, with super easy install.

One thing to note is that there is No locktight on the screws that hold the adjustable rail section to the light. It hasn’t been a problem through my shooting the light but it’s something I might end up doing to just make sure they won’t ever come loose. I did decide to see if I could pry off the small rail section to see inside, and with a little force I was able. Between the two pieces there is a black silicone gasket, and inside there is a 130mAh battery. I was a little surprised to see the light is mostly potted with a clear silicone type material.

I had no issues with durability, having shot about 300 rounds through it on two outings to the range, from 4 different guns in 3 different calibers, 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.

Physical Comparisons

PL Mini 2

Weight – 73g

Length (Shortest) – 44mm

Length (Longest) – 52mm

Width – 27.5mm

Height – 32mm

 

PL Mini

Weight 65.5g

Length – 53mm

Width – 28.5mm

Height – 27mm

 

To sum up the numbers the PL Mini 2 is shorter, but has more height and weighs slightly more due to the more complex mount system.

LED/Beam/Runtime

This light uses the Cree XP-L HD LED in cool white. In comparison to the Original PL-Mini the tint in version 2 is a bit warmer, but with a slight green tint in my example. The reflector is a little larger due to the increased height of the light, and it seems to throw a bit larger beam. The light throws pretty well the reflector size, and for a weapon light this is what you want.

600 lumens on such a small platform will have a hard time dissipating heat and this is no different. It’s brightest mode only lasts 2-3 minutes, the good news is the step down is smooth and slow but significant. By the 11 minutes mark, the light is at about 10% relative output. It maintains this steadily for another 35 minutes before decreasing slowly down to almost nothing before it shut off at 100 minutes.

UI

The UI is very basic with essentially no options on this light. The buttons have basically one mode that either lock on if pressed quickly, or act in momentary if held down. There is no strobe on this light.

Recharging

Recharging happens via the magnetic olight charging system. The PL Mini 2 like the original use the special version of the charger, my guess this is to reduce the charging speed due to the small battery. Overall recharge time from shut off point was 52 minutes.

 

Pro’s

  • Adjustable solution that will fit most compact and subcompact pistols with rail support
  • Stepdowns are more gradual and slow, not big steps, but it’s initial 600 lumens only lasts 2-3 minutes.

 

Con’s

  • Holster Support – A few brands announced they will be making holsters for the lights, Olight still has a lot of work to do to catch up to the more established brands in the pistol light market for holster support.
  • Clamp on the left hand side, when mounted easily catches a finger when going to turn it on.

 

Conclusion

The PL-Mini 2 is almost a completely different light from the 1st generation. While they do similar things, the Mini 2 prioritizes it’s modularity to fit smaller compacts and subcompact pistols, and makes design decisions to accomplish this such increasing it’s height, to make it’s overall length shorter to better fit compact and subcompact framed pistols. As a weapon light it works well, I don’t have any complaints there, the magnetic recharging system is very convenient, and works well for the size. My two problems are the quick disconnect lever is a little too long and kind of covers the switch on that side. Left handed shooters would notice this the most or if you trigger the light activation with your off hand for right handed shooters. I think the design could be improved by at least making it round or perhaps coming up with another lever design that is smaller. The other main problem I see is holster support. There are a few manufactures that offer semi custom holsters but not many. Be prepared to be buying custom holsters if you decide to run this light as it’s just not widely supported like some other brands are, especially if you have an adapter rail like I do. As long as you know this going in it’s a nice little pistol light that works well in my testing.

Pick up the PL-Mini 2 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2Zt1RkL

Klarus ST15R Review (Bike & Camping Flashlight)

Klarus has a new handheld light on the market called the ST15R Night Guardian. It’s a general purpose light that comes with a bike mount, diffuser and a clip to go with you where you go. It runs on multiple lithium battery sizes and will recharge 18650’s via onboard microUSB. Thanks to Flashlightz for sending it to me to take a look at today.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/WrODgx0

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging on the Klarus ST15R is a retail top hanging box, that’s mat black with the light in raised gloss black on a camping scene, It touts the lumen rating on the front, that it includes a battery and that it’s rechargeable. The sides show a few feature such as the intelligent thermal protection system, USB rechargeable and others. On the back you get headlining features, and more detailed specifications including LED used, Brightness ratings, runtime, throw, and sizes and weight.

The package includes Flashlight, YLE 18650 2600mAh battery (More on that in the recharging section), pocket clip, lanyard, extra oring, MicroUSB charging cable, Bike Mount, and silicone reflector dome. The dome is nice, I wish more lights included them in the package.

Construction

Klarus stepped up the game on the ST15R in my opinion. The light is very nicely machined and the finish is without fault. The light is made from 6061-T6 Aluminium and anodized in a smooth mat black, with a very light texture. Starting at the tail, you have the mechanical switch that takes a firm press, covered with a silicone boot. It has 2 small raised areas for a lanyard to pass through and that allows the light to tail stand. While not truly deep carry the clip on the ST15R is only 20mm from the top allowing for a decently deep carry, much better than some of the competitors lights.

The tail and body are one piece, below the tail section there is a ring milled out for the clip to attach. The clip is fairly standard, it’s removable and rotates 360 degrees, plenty of relief to fit jeans or a fairly thick piece of clothing but there is a ledge that will get caught slightly. The finish looks to be a glossy parkerized type finish, not paint.

The body tube portion of the light has a nice milling pattern of a tight fine spiral of about 180 degrees. While this does not provide a ton of grip, I like the way it looks alot, it’s something different over standard knurling and is easier to keep clean too. I think it’s a classier look as well, and I suspect it isn’t cheap to machine either. Threads are anodized, and squarecut. There are springs on both ends of the light as well.

On the head section the button for me is a nice little upgrade. It’s an electronic switch with LED indicators underneath the bezel. The way the LED’s are diffused in the bezel makes the light soft and pretty even it just looks nicer than I expected. The LED’s are green, yellow and red based on the battery charge level. Opposite the button is the MicroUSB recharging port with a silicone cover. The cover is tight and there is a little extra bit to fit down into the port. I didn’t have any trouble with any of the MicroUSB cables I have but if yours had a wide connector area it might not fit. The of the head do have some milling for heat dissipation.

The front of the head section itself is smooth, the bezel is a silver anodized aluminum. It looks like the head is assembled from the front. The glass is double anti reflective coated with a large visible black o’ring. The reflector is smooth and deep. The LED is nicely centered and surrounded with a black disk.

Size/Weight

I measured length at 142mm, maximum diameter at 33mm and minimum diameter on the body tube at 25mm. Weight with the included battery, and clip came in at 152G.

Length wise it’s slightly shorter than an Olight Warrior X, and very similar in most dimensions to a Nitecore MH12GTS. See the video for some visual comparisons of this.

 

LED/BeamShots

LED in use is a Cree XP-L HD V6 LED, no official tint data is given but I would call it a bright white, not too cool, but not warm. I don’t find it offensive and like it. For nature stuff it’s probably a little too cool for my ideal light.

The beam pattern has a definite hot spot, more like a thrower, the spill is pretty minimal, less than 5% of the light if I had to guess. I like that Klarus decided to include the diffuser on this light, since it is a bit throwy this really change things up and provides more light 360 degrees around. Now you could use it not only at night while hiking but also inside a tent suspended from the top, etc. More lights should come with a diffuser.

Working Voltage is 2.5 – 8.4V beaning it has no problem taking 18650, 2x 18350, or 2x CR123A.

Low – 10 Lumens

Medium – 100 Lumens

High – 400 Lumens

Turbo – 1200 Lumens

 

Strobe – 1200 Lumens

Beacon  – 100 Lumens

SOS – 100 Lumens

 

For my runtime tests I used the included 2600mAh battery. Total runtime was 210 minutes. The curves on this are generally pretty gradual, no hard step downs until the end. I believe this is due to the active thermal controls the light has and not timed step downs. The light held 80% relative output for right at 20 minutes which is pretty good. The graphs really tell the story, so make sure to check those out.

UI

The light has an on/off switch on the tail, with an electronic switch in the head. Once turned on you have constant on modes, Low, Medium, High and Turbo and you cycle through these with a single click each. The light does have memory mode if switched off with the tail switch in the constant on modes. When the light is on double clicking the switch in the head gets to the strobe modes. Long press on the same button to switch between Strobe, Beacon, and SOS. There are no shortcuts to turbo, or low.

While charging you can can click the mode button and the light will come on in low.

 

Recharging

The light recharges via Micro USB in a port opposite the button. It is recessed and wide cables or cables with large molding may have trouble reaching. I didn’t have this problem on the 3 or 4 I tested. The light does have LED indicators around the button so it will show battery charge status for 5 second when the light is turned on or changed modes. Green is greater than 70%, Orange is between 30-70%, and red less than 30%, and red flashing is less than 10%

The light includes a 2600mAh 18650 battery that is a button top and protected cell. It says working voltage is 4.2V to 2.75V which is a bit low for my preferences. On mine I can clearly see the label of the underlying cell and in this case it’s a YLE INR18650A260 the datasheet can be found http://www.yiklik.com/upload/manual/INR18650A260.pdf This is a Chinese battery supplier, that makes a variety of 18650’s. It seems they have been focused more on batteries for bikes, other personal transportation, and tools more then high draw flashlights.

Recharging Speed was measured at 1A, so charging the light over USB from it’s shut off point took 3 hours and 5 minutes in my test. Terminating Charge Voltage after rest of the battery was 4.17V.

When charged the red LED’s around the switch go to green, and the light gives a brief low power flash of the main emitter. I like this, it’s more noticeable than just an LED changing color.

Pro’s

  • Can take a wide variety of batteries, 18650, 2x CR123A, 2x 16340, 2x 18350
  • Definite upgrade in machining, finish, and packaging.
  • I love the slight sliver of LED’s around the switch, it just better done then similar lights that do this.
  • Includes a bike mount and diffuser dome.

 

Con’s

  • Not a big fan of double click to strobe, I would prefer a double click to turbo UI with triple click to Strobe.
  • No Moonlight mode.
  • Not using a well known established brand of battery for their branded cells.
  • No holster is included, not a big deal for me personally but worth mentioning.

 

Conclusion

To sum up the Klarus ST15R is a nice balance for a light that can be used in a lot of different applications. I wish the user interface was a little different, because I don’t like strobe so easily accessed with a double click. It’s nice that it comes with a bike mount and a diffuser, and I think this improves its usability with it’s more throwy beam. The LED isn’t a super cool tint which can happen with other Klarus lights, so I like that too. The fit and finish is a step up too in my opinion from some of the Klarus lights I have looked at in the past. I love the milling pattern on the body and the anodizing seems to be nicer as well. It’s a pretty nice light and let’s hope Klarus continues this trend in 2019.

 

Pick one up at https://www.flashlightz.com/klarus-st15r-1200-lumens

Brinyte WT-01 Prototype Review (SST-40, Qi Wireless Charging)

Wireless charging is popular on many mobile devices these days, but most of the rechargeable flashlights have either a cable you need to plug in or a magnetic charger. Brinyte has come up with a flashlight that uses inductive charging to charge up the light. Today I have a prototype version of the Brinyte WT01. Thanks to them for sending it to me to take a look at.

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/Yhdc5Co

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

With my light being a prototype the packaging was not anything near final form. It was a sturdy brown cardboard box. Accessories included the light itself, unbranded generic 3000mAh protected button top 18650 battery, Generic international 2A AC USB adapter with US adapter plug, Charging cradle and microUSB cable.

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum, and will be offered in a sand and black anodizing. My prototype was in the Sand color and unfortunately it’s paint and not anodizing. The result is it’s not a very durable finish. I have been assured that in the production version this will be a hard anodizing.

As far as design it’s a larger light. It’s capable of using a 18650 battery with the included spacer or a 26650. Starting at the tail cap, it’s a bit large, and simple. It tail stands nicely. The tail cap is glued in place. On the body tube there is a slight ring to do a cigar grip on. Moving on to the body tube, there are rings milled in and then 4 flats milled in. On my example these flats don’t always line up with the switch which is a little disappointing.

Inside this is a double wall design, threads on the body tube are fine and square cut cut, I would prefer something a bit more course to make it a little easier to thread on and minimize the risk of cross threading. One thing that does happen is when you take off the head and put it back on the light does come on in low mode. There are springs on both the head and tail of the light.

The head of the light itself is pretty smooth, with minimal heat syncing. The switch is electronic and covered by a green silicone cover. It has green and red LED’s under used when charging. The front bezel is smooth, and able to be unscrewed. The glass lens is anti reflective coated. Underneath is a deep smooth reflector and the LED is nicely centered.

Size and Weight

I measured overall length at 156mm, width at its widest point was 45mm, and at it’s thinnest point 33mm. Weight with the included battery is 313g

While this light is capable of running at 26650 battery and double wall construction it just feels a bit long and a bit thick. The tailcap adds to the length.

LED/Runtime

SST-40 LED with deep smooth reflector that’s a fairly neutral white. The SST-40 is a pretty good LED in my opinion. It doesn’t seem to suffer noticeable rainbow but it does seem to turn a bit more green a lower power inputs. The beam is more of a thrower. It has a small hot center, with a small area around that center of corona before it fades into the spill.

Runtimes

I did my runtime testing with the included 3000mAh generic button top protected battery the light came with. Total runtime was just at 100 minutes of usable light. It did do a pretty good job of being able to sustain it’s brightest mode for almost 20 minutes.

UI

UI on this light is non traditional but not complicated. It has 4 output modes of constant light and starts at high, then decreases to medium, then low, each time the button is pressed then off. Press the power button again and you get turbo, then it steps down through all the lower modes. The mode spacing is pretty even to the eye.

Brinyte lists outputs as:

Turbo 1100 Lumens

High 430 Lumens

Medium 70 Lumens

Low 10 Lumens

Strobe and SOS 1100 Lumens

Long press for 2 seconds to reach the 2 blinking modes of Strobe and SOS. To go back to constant on mode you have to go through both blinking modes and the light will resume to where you left off. There were no No shortcuts to go to turbo or to shut off

Light does come on in low if you disconnect the head and reconnect it with a battery inside.

Recharging

This light uses wireless inductive charging in it’s cradle. The cradle is pretty basic, no instruction or lights on it, just a microUSB port. It appears to be using Qi charging, because my Anker Qi chargers recognize the light and it goes through a sequence where it starts to charge but then stops. My guess this is because the inductive coils are not oriented correctly. My guess would be these run around the tail cap and are not on the flat where they would be for a phone typically. The cradle draws 0.2A (about 1W) on standby regardless of if it’s charging or not which is kind of high.

When charging the flashlight has a Red LED inside the button that comes on and it goes green when fully charged. I observed a 1.2A charging rate during charging, so a flat battery took 3 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge. The charging curve was pretty flat, not the usual taper. At the end I measured cell voltage at 4.17V. I will insert a photo of what I found overall capacity of the cell was at when I put it through a capacity test.

One other feature I noticed when recharging this light was that when you pull it off the charger it automatically comes on in low mode, or if the power is stopped to the charger. I could see this being useful for use if your house were to lose mains power and it would help you locate the light.

Pro

  • SST-40 LED, Fairly neutral white, solid beam performance
  • I like that colors are being offered from the beginning. Hopefully the anodizing will be more durable.
  • Nice to see someone try inductive charging on a flashlight.

 

Con

  • It’s a chunky light, and personally I don’t find it very attractive.
  • Recharging cradle draws 0.20a (About 1W) on standby regardless of if it’s charging or not. Kind of high.
  • UI is just different I would like to long press to turn off, and double click to go to turbo, maybe triple click to go to strobe.

 

Conclusion

I like the idea of wireless charging that doesn’t have exposed contacts but not if the cost is a larger light. Design wise I feel like the light is just a bit too generic and large for me. I don’t love that the tail cap is glued in place, but understand why they are doing it. I would like to see them go back to the drawing board and try to reduce the overall size of the light and add some more interesting design features.

 

With the emergency power type of feature I think I will set this light on my kitchen counter in it’s charging cradle so that if the power goes off it will automatically come on and can easily be found. I would like to see at the minimum a UI tweak to allow you to shut off the light without cycling all the way through the other modes.

 

It’s fun taking a look at a prototype light, let’s see if Brinyte makes any changes to the production version before I can say definitely if I give it a recommendation or not.

AUKEY 10000mAh USB-C PD Power Bank Review (18W USB-C Quick Charge 3.0)

Today I have a new powerbank to look at by Aukey, if you have been frustrated with the lack of ports or options in what your current powerbank has, this one fixes that by supporting nearly everything you would want in one small 10,000mAh powerbank. It supports USB-C PD for upto 18W charge, Qualcomm Quickcharge 3.0, and good old MicroUSB if you want too. Thanks to Aukey for sending this to me to take a look at.

Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/DTHgZCV

Youtube:

Specs

Model: PB-Y13

Capacity: 10,000mAh (37Wh)

Micro-USB in: 5V 2A

USB-C In: (18W PD), 5V 1.5A, 5V 2A

USB-C Out: (18W PD), 5V 3A,  9V 2A, 12V 1.5A

USB Out 1: (Quick Charge 3.0) 5V-6V 3A, 6V-9V 2A, 9V-12V 1.5A

USB Out 2: 5V 2.4A

 

Packaging

Packaging is simple on this powerbank, and not too big. It’s a simple brown cardboard box with the name and an outline drawing of the powerbank along with a few of the things it supports. On the inside the powerbank came in the semi transparent plastic bag, and you got a USB-A to C cable included as well for recharging or charging your supported device.

Construction

Predictably the powerbank is made of black plastic. The top and bottom cover are a lightly textured mat plastic. The ring around the edges are a glossy black plastic. Both seem to scratch fairly easily. Length came in at 146mm, width at 74mm, and width at 14mm. I weighed it at 193.9 grams. The powerbank is rigid and didn’t crack or creek. On the top edge you have a button to turn the powerbank on, and check battery power level from it’s 4 white LED’s. On the top you have the Quick Charge 3.0 port with orange internals, the USB-C port in the middle, the standard USB-A port on the other edge, then around the corner you have the microUSB for charging if you wish.

Protocol support

As I mentioned in my opening, this Powerbank supports all the standards you hope for in a modern powerbank to charge a wide variety of devices as fast as your device allows. First and most important to me on a modern powerbank is the support for USB-C Power Delivery. In this case it’s good for 18W. That is a good amount of power to charge your phones, gaming systems, etc fast, but it would  take considerable time to charge your laptop assuming your laptop can trickle charge at 18W. This also works for recharging the powerbank itself if you have a compatible charger. It also supports Qualcomm Quickcharge 3.0 on a USB-A port for supported devices. You can recharge the powerbank via USB-C or via microUSB on it’s side at 2A speed.

For my runtime info I used my EB Tester, and put a load on the battery at 3A at 5V (15W load) and the powerbank did this at a steady state for 112 minutes, I then reduced load, to be 1A at 5V (5W) where it ran for another 20 minutes. Total measured capacity was 6086mAh or 30.57Wh, the stated total capacity was 10,000mAhh or 37Wh. So my measured efficiency was just about 83% which isn’t too bad with the losses due to voltage changes.

 

The charger is capable of charging multiple devices as well. I can pull at 2A load on the USB-A port while fast charging my Note 8 via USB-C. 18W however isn’t enough power for my Dell XPS 13 9350 to begin charging via USB-C.

 

Conclusion

For me this is my new medium capacity lightweight powerbank for traveling. I like the thin size, as it makes it easy to slip in a pocket with my Note 8 or other large screen phone. It also has the protocol support I am looking for with devices that don’t support USB-C PD and the flexibility to recharge via USB-C PD or MicroUSB for legacy support. These things along with a fair price add up to be a great little powerbank across a large spread of devices. Aukey has a pretty good reputation for customer service and product quality, if there is a problem they will take care of you, so I have an expectation this will be a reliable powerbank for many years to come.

 

Pickup the Aukey USB-C PD Power Bank at https://amzn.to/2XMrZX5

Haikelite Q30 Review (12,000 lumens?)

Today I have the Haikelite Q30 triple LED Quad battery soda can style flood light to take a look at. This light has some interesting things about it that I will talk about here today. Thanks for Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/WuBQgVV

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

The light comes in a pretty generic cardboard box that folds out from the top. It has a simple Haikelite sticker on the top and nothing else. Inside the light came in bubble wrap. You get a sheet of paper product descriptions and then on the other side you get the UI instructions. Accessories include 2 spare large red o’rings, a large green lanyard with a quick disconnect and a threaded loop insert as a place to attach the lanyard. One note about the lanyard is the part that actually attaches to the light is pretty thin material, I would recommend just using paracord instead the loop is large enough.

 

Construction

Th Q30 is made from aluminum and then hard anodized black. The tail cap is one piece with a flat bottom for excellent tail standing capabilities, it is removable which exposes the rear circuit board which has 2 springs and 2 brass disks that are surrounded by a rubber cap. The rubber donut is done for safety to prevent the use of flat top batteries, you can remove them if you with and the light will work with flat tops it’s just not recommended. The mid section has fairly shallow knurling that doesn’t provide a ton of grip. Threads on both ends are finely cut square threads. The body tube with end cap are their own unit. It mates to the head of the light by screwing on. Inside the head there is a single large diameter spring that makes contact with the body assembly creating one light.

 

The head steps up in diameter and features lots of mill work in the sides for appearance and cooling reasons. In the center there is a large brightly anodized blue button and ring. The button sits on a translucent silicone dome with small indicator LED’s under. The button is a little mushy and can be moved left or right. It reminds me of a joystick. At the front you have a polished stainless steel reflector in front of a piece of anti reflective coated glass. The reflector has a satin orange peel and is split into 3 section for each of the LED.

 

Size/Weight

I measured overall length at 134mm, maximum diameter at 66mm, and minimum diameter at 50mm.

Weight with 3 Samsung 30Q batteries is 670g.

 

Below are some images comparing it to the Sofirn Q8

 

LED/Runtime/Beamshots

The LED’s on this light are a bit of an unknown officially. On the product description they are only listed as a “7070” LED. On the inside of the tail cap of the light the circuit board says XHP 70, and they do look pretty similar to images of those that I see online. The LED has a large dome and you can see the 4 individual emitters under each. The beam is mostly a flood, with a slight hot center. You can also see 3 lines coming off of the beam as reflections of the beam dividers.  The light has the following mode spacings. 10 lumens, 500 lumens, 2500 lumens, 5000 lumens, and 12,000 lumens.

 

Runtime

For runtime this light ran on turbo for just about 2 minutes before stepping down significantly due to heat. The bulk of the total 150 minutes of runtime on the Samsung 30Q batteries I used was at about 25% relative output. While that seems like not very much, keep in mind this light is claimed to produce 12,000 lumens. This runtime ran for 135 minutes in a linear decline. At the end the light will kick up for the final 10 minutes and quickly ramp down before low voltage protection kicks in and the light shuts off. It would be nice to see a bit of flashing out of the main emitter to know you were at the end.

UI

The light has a hidden moon light mode that can be accessed by long pressing the button when in off. Normal modes once the light are on, can be accessed with a long press and the light will begin to cycle and you can stop in the one you want, and you have 4 normal brightness levels. Tubo is not a part of these normal modes, to access turbo double click from anywhere when on. Double click again when in turbo to access strobe. Both Turbo and strobe are able to be memorized but the instructions are not clear how this this is done.

 

The light has electronic lockout but with most of these lights I prefer mechanically locking out the light by just giving the body tube a slight turn to break connection. I find it to be easier and more reliable.

 

The switch does act as a battery indicator, however the manual states it’s a green LED but on mine it’s a blue LED under the switch. Above 50% power the LED is on constant under the switch. Between 50% and 9% it starts to blink every 2 seconds, and below 9% the light will step down to moonlight to conserve energy.

 

Pro

  • Seems to be made well without any machining problems.
  • It’s big and heavy but that’s what you expect in this type of light
  • Minimal branding
  • Tripod mount!

 

Con

  • Unknown LED’s but they seem to be cooler neutral white.
  • While the eye is not a good measurement of lumens, to me it doesn’t look like 12,000 lumens
  • Beam has some artifacts.
  • Quite heavy with batteries

 

Conclusion

This light is a little bit of a mystery. Haikelite doesn’t list it officially on their website, and there isn’t a ton of existing information out on it. I have seen some suggest that it’s not a true Haikelite, however all the circuit boards do have the Haikelite name on them and the box is consistent with other Haikelite flashlights I have had. Maybe it’s a Banggood exclusive? I don’t have the equipment to verify the total number of lumens yet but since we don’t know for sure what LED it’s using I am somewhat suspect if it can hit the claimed 12,000 lumens.

There are a handful of good high quality soda can floodlights on the market, and with this one being somewhat and using undocumented LED’s possibly, it’s hard for me to say this is the one to buy. I have not had any problems with mine, the UI is decent and it’s got a pretty neutral tint and its been working without issue. The timed stepdowns are a bit disappointing, I would prefer thermal regulated ones instead so you can get maximum lumens for the most amount of time.

 

If you are interested I will have links and any discount codes I might have in the description below. If you have a Haikelite Q30, let me know what you think of it in the comments below. As always thanks for subscribing and I will catch you on the next video!

 

If you are interested in picking up the Haikelite Q30 you can get it for $58.99 at https://goo.gl/8zwbjG (Affiliate Link) using coupon code: BGMMY

Astrolux FT01 Review (Cree XHP 50.2, 2215 Lumens, 21700mAh battery)

Astrolux has a new larger light the FT01 with a Cree XHP 50.2 that takes up to a 21700 lithium ion battery and has onboard microUSB charging. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/yoGueKe

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging on this light is a white cardboard lift off box. It has silver embossed image of the light but no real technical detail except for the sticker on the end denoting the model and color. Inside the light is well protected foam cut to fit the light. It comes with a lanyard, orings, a spare button and the manual. It also comes with a conversion tube that shipped in the light to hold an 18650 battery in the light.  

 

Construction

Starting at the tail cap it has a 3 lobe design that means it tail stands pretty well. You can attach a lanyard to any of the wings. The rubber button is easy to access the mechanical button underneath, and requires a decent amount of force to lock, but momentary comes on sooner. There is no knurling on the tail cap but instead smoothed over flutes, it’s not a lot of grip. Inside there are double springs in the tail cap. There are quite a few fine threads at both ends of the light, the tail section being anodized. The walls of the body tube of the light are quite thick.

 

The body tube has 3 panels of a flat diamond pattern milled into it. These would be fine on an EDC light but are not as grippe as I would like on a tactical light. The head of the light contains just a little area milled for heat dissipation  and aesthetics. The front button feels pretty tactile and has an audible click. The LED under it is used as an indicator when charging. The microUSB port opposite the button for recharging. The cover is very well done, it’s out of the way, and the tab doesn’t catch your finger. The bezel on this light is a a screw on aluminum piece. On mine it’s not round, with one side hanging over the body of the light a little, while the opposite side is a flush fit like I would expect, it has crenelations. The lens is glass and isn’t antireflective from what I can see. The reflector is deep and has an orange peel.  

 

This is a big light in all dimensions for what it is.I measured it at a length of 143mm, 37mm head diameter, and 29mm minimum body diameter. The weight came in with a Sanyo 20700 in it, at 250 grams.

 

I compared the light with a Lumintop ODF30 which uses a 26650 battery and the Lumintop is considerably shorter due to not having a tail switch and recharging but it just shows how big the Astrolux is for what it is.

 

LED/Beamshot

This light has a Cree XHP50.2 in a fairly cool white. My example suffered from pretty bad cree rainbow, the center was the cooler white, but then you got a pronounced green ring, before fading into the cooler white again, not my cup of tea. The reflector is deep, and has an orange peel.

 

Runtime

For my runtime tests I did so with 2 different battery sizes for this light. I used a LG HG2 (3000mAh) for the 18650, and then a Sanyo NCR20700 (4250mAh). Surprisingly both lights had relatively similar total runtimes, about 150 min and 170 min respectively. However the main difference you saw was that runtime after initial step down from turbo. Tubo lasted 2-3 minutes. Then with the 18650 you saw about 45 minutes of high before stepping down due to voltage. With the larger capacity 20700 I saw that high mode last for 65 minutes which is a nice real improvement.

 

UI

This light uses an easy interface. The tail switch is the on/off button and that’s all it does. The front button controls the modes. You have 5 modes in normal operation. Double click to access the shortcut to turbo. From any mode if you press and hold for about 1 second you get strobe. There isn’t memory on this light and it starts on low always.

 

For being marketed as a tactical light I don’t feel like the UI is very tactical. I would prefer a little quicker access to strobe for a tactical light. Having to press on at the tail and then long press on the front switch either takes 2 hands or changing your grip, neigher are ideal.

 

Recharging

Fastest I saw for the built in MicroUSB recharging was 0.72A, which means it took right at 4 and a half hours to charge the a 3000mAh 18650 battery. This is fairly slow by modern standards, I would like to see at least an amp. The side button acts as a power indicator, going red when charging. I will say the charging port cover is well designed, it sits flush and the tab doesn’t catch your hand at all.

 

Pro’s

  • I like that this works with a 21700, 20700, and an 18650 batteries with the included spacer.
  • Minimal branding and the light is available in a sand/gold color as gray and black

 

Con’s

  • It’s big, and heavy for what it is.
  • It’s expensive without a coupon, for not coming with a battery
  • Pretty bad Cree color shift rainbow.

 

Conclusion

It won’t be a big surprise but this isn’t a light I personally enjoy. It’s too big, heavy and the UI is more general purpose then tactical. I like that it comes in colors and you can use the newer larger generation of 21700 batteries. However for tactical useage you won’t find it on my belt or bag.

 

I do think this would be an ok light for someone wanting to get something basic for an older person in their life. It’s larger, and USB rechargeable. You could give it to them, and tell them to just use the tail on/off switch. Low is fairly high powered, and is probably brighter than many alkaline incandescent lights they had previously. The modes are easy to cycle through if they wanted and turning it off and on again resets it. Other then that I generally think there are better options on the market for most applications with this one.

 

Get the Astrolux FT01 for $55 with coupon code: BGDLH at https://goo.gl/ZhjsaA (Affiliate Link)

RavPower 20100mAh Power Bank with QC 3.0 & USB-C Review

Ravpower has a new large capacity 20100mAh powerbank that’s QuickCharge 3.0 capable, and has USB-C. Thanks to them for sending it to me to take a closer look at. If you are interested I have links to their new online direct store in the video description below.

Packaging

RavPower has done a nice job with the packaging of this power bank. Everything comes in a decorated cardboard box, inside the cables and bag are in one small box, and the powerbank is in another. You get the manual and Happy/Not Happy card as well as warranty info. Accessories include a mesh bag, a short USB-A to MicroUSB cable, as well as a longer one and a micro to USB-C adapter. A native USB-C cable would have been a nice touch here.

 

Construction

The powerbank is built from black plastic, with some mild texture on it. With the size of this powerbank I don’t think it has 18650’s inside, instead I think it’s a large Lithium pouch or series of pouches. If only I had an xray machine to see in side.

 

Size

Very closer to the size of my Note 8 with a case on it in terms of foot print. It’s a bit thicker. I measured it at 80mm in width, 172mm long, and 22mm thick. Weight comes in at 374.7 grams.

 

The Qualcomm Quickcharge 3.0 format was adopted in 2016 and is able to charge up to 18W (9V @ 2A), it’s big selling point is charging a large percentage of the battery in a short amount of time. QC 3 speeds this up a bit over older versions but also adds a lot of smaller steps. To be work both the charger and device your charging need to be QC 3 compliant. While QC 3 is a proprietary format, several manufacture specific charging specs seem to be unofficially supported.

 

Discharge

Depending on which port you use the battery is capable of quite a few output modes. Using the iSmart Output port it’s capable of 5V at 2.4A, using the QC3 output it’s capable of 5-6.5V @ 3A, 6.5-9V @ 2A, or 9V-12V at 1.5A. I was able to test the regular USB ports and replicate these numbers

 

So for my runtime test I ran a test a 5V @ 3A until it stopped then moved to .25A till it stopped and I got a total  capacity of 12.25Ah, for a total energy of 60.95Wh. This is decent efficiency from the labeled 74.3Wh after considering voltage step up. Voltage was very stable during this test with average voltage being 4.97V which is good. This was all over 4.71 hours.

 

Recharging

Recharging of this powerbank can be done more than one way. You have the USB-C port which does work to charge it but not particularly fast at only 7W or so in my test despite it saying it can accept 3A at 5V. It’s not USB-C PD compliant for the input. It also offers MicroUSB input that supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and this is the fastest way to charge the powerbank. It’s capable of  5V-12v at 2A. In my testing I used an Anker PowerPort+ charger with QC3. Charge rate for most of the charge was 21.14 total watts or (2.899A at 7.295V) this still took quite a while to charge up 20100mAh, about 6 hours. While not the fastest charging powerbank of this size I have, it’s pretty respectable for such a large capacity without having USB-C PD charging.

 

The manual isn’t great on this powerbank and doesn’t have a full list of specs, but specs are listed on the powerbank itself.  

 

Pro’s

  • Good value for the money on this capacity with USB-C and QC3 support
  • Simple but I like that this has all the output modes and input modes supported on the back. Not all power banks do this.
  • QC 3.0 really makes a difference when charging or discharging. If you don’t have one I definitely recommend picking one up from Ravpower, Anker, or Aukey, or another reliable brand.

 

Con’s

  • Not USB-C PD compliant for recharging. So it only charges at 7W.
  • No USB-C Cable included

 

Conclusion

The RavPower 20100mAh QC3.0 powerbank is a good powerbank from a brand with a good reputation for quality. It offers huge capacity in not a huge footprint. While I would like to see USB-C PD compliant power bank for faster charging/recharging you do have to upgrade to a different model to get that. Charging and recharging with QC 3.0 means it’s pretty quick assuming you have a compliant charger (Not all will be).

https://www.ravpower.com/p/ravpower-turbo-20100mah-power-bank-with-usb-c-and-qc-3.0.html

Olight PL-2RL Review (1200 lumen Weapon Light + Laser)

Today I have a review of the new Olight PL-2RL Baldr weapon light from Olight. This light takes the PL-2 which I reviewed last year and adds a red laser to the bottom of the light. A few things on the flashlight itself were improved upon and then the addition to the laser. Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/l4MvtiC

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is similar to Olight’s others from 2018. It’s a white cardboard box with texture, and a picture of the light printed on the outside. On the back it has stats about it and runtime specs. I prefer if Olight would relocate the SN/Barcode because when you pull the tab to open the package that piece comes loose.



Accessories include the light itself, 2x CR123A batteries, small Hex wrench, and a 1913 rail piece (The Glock is preinstalled). If you don’t know the Glock rail is slightly smaller, it will work on a 1913 rail but move around more than is desired.

Construction
This light is very similar in construction to the original PL-2 but with a laser module screwed on to the bottom. It’s built of aircraft grade aluminum and is pretty sturdy. The anodizing finish on the light looks the same but in my experience it and the lens clean up easier. I sprayed mine down with Ballistol, let it sit for about 15 minutes while cleaning other things and the powder residue on the front of the light and on the lens easily wiped off with a microfiber towel. My PL-2 was more difficult to clean.


The buttons appear to be the same, they click from the side, not from the back, have a rubberized texture and are ambidextrous. The battery door has a tab to pull up and then it hinges up. This means you most likely will need to remove it from your weapon to swap batteries. Not a huge deal with the toolless mounting system on the PL-2RL. It has visible springs in the front nearest the lens, but the rear terminals are also spring loaded, just not visible. Not much movement in them.

The mounting system has been improved on the PL-2RL. It still features a toolesss quick release lever which I really like. What’s new is this is now more spring loaded. In the unlocked position the light is very hard to shake off accidentally, if you push on it some you can get it to come off. To get it off you have to press in on the lever to expand the jaws a bit. This is definitely an improvement, the PL-2 would just drop free when the lever was in the unlock position, I could see if you were in a tactical situation how the lever may be caught on something and if that happened your light would fall free. With the new PL-2RL that is much less likely to occur.

The light does have a bright yellow warning sticker about the laser that also features as the indicator for the modes. I wish this was done differently. I understand there is probably import/legal regulations regarding the laser, but I wish the mode indicators were laser engraved into the light as a more permanent fix. I find the yellow a bit distracting and it’s not very tactical. I think i’ll either cut the sticker and remove the bulk of the yellow part or use a sharpie or paint marker to make it black.



Size and Weight
This isn’t a small weapon light. The addition to the laser adds quite a bit of bulk to the light. On a full size pistol it’s ok, but on anything much smaller it’s borderline too big in my opinion. Length of the PL-2RL is 83mm, width is 36.5mm, depth is 48mm. Depth of the PL-2 was 30.5mm.

Weight with batteries of the PL-2 is 116g.
Weight with batteries of the PL-2RL is 140g an increase of 24 grams.
It is IPX6 water rated so it should do fine in heavy rain or dropped in a puddle if removed quickly. It’s not a diving light.

Hold a zero?
In my testing the light held a zero pretty well. I tested the light on a couple of Glock’s chambered in .45 ACP, 10mm, and 9mm. I also tested it on an AR9 pistol. We didn’t zero it on every firearm but we did on 10mm and AR9 and after the first few shots it held its position well. I know Olight had some initial issues with the PL-2 and 10mm, we didn’t have any issue after running it through a variety of rounds.

To adjust zero there are two set screws near the laser part of the housing to set windage and elevation. An included Torx wrench does come with the light. One thing I would improve is when adjusting elevation and windage some clicks that you could either feel or hear would be useful, to improve the speed of adjustment. So you know each click is for example 1 MOA etc. You can zero it without shooting a round at home if you have your iron signs setup. Point your unloaded firearm in a safe direction, and zero the laser to your iron sights.

LED/Runtime
The PL-2RL is advertised as producing 1200 lumens through a CREE XHP 35 HI LED in Cool White, however those are peak lumens. Like many high output flashlights the PL-2RL will step down in brightness to 400 Lumens after 1.5 minutes. The runtime is then an additional 100-105 minutes depending if the laser is on or off. In mode 2 when the light is on at a constant 400 lumens, runtime is increased to 105 or 120 minutes depending on if the laser is on or off. The lens is glass, with a plastic TIR style reflector. It creates a very hot center, minimizing spill. The Olight PL-2RL can use 2X CR123A or rechargeable RCR123A cells. If using the rechargeables runtime won’t be as long. This is one case where I would recommend using Primary batteries for longer shelf life, and because the runtimes will be longer due to the reduced capacity of the rechargeable batteries.

The laser is a 5mW red laser that’s similar at 15 yards to a 3moa red dot. It’s running at a 645-655nm wavelength. Max runtime of laser only is 75 hours. Having the laser on doesn’t change runtime much of the XHP 35 HI LED. Olight lists the difference in mode 1 (1200 lumens, then 400 lumens after 1.5 minutes) of only 5 minutes if the laser is on. In mode 2 (Constant 400 lumens) the runtime difference with the laser on is 15 minutes less.

Beamshots
The beamshots are identical to the PL-2. It’s a large hot center and throws decently well. The laser seems to be pretty centered in the middle of this beam. See my video for the examples.

UI
This light uses the same side to side toggle buttons as the PL-2 has. They work best to push from the side in. These work pretty much the same as the PL-2 for light uses. If you long press on either switch you get momentary on, if you quick press you get constant on, and if you click both together you gets strobe (Doesn’t work on laser only mode). On the back of the laser you have a 3 position selector switch, Left, Center and Right to select what combination of laser/light are on when the buttons are pressed..

When the selector switch is all the way to the left you get laser only. It will come on with either left or right button, and pinching each button at the same time doesn’t do anything in this mode.

When the selector switch is in the center you get a Light + Laser option. In this mode when you pinch both switches together the light will strobe and the laser stays on all the time.

When the selector switch is to the right you get only a light. In this mode the light works exactly like the PL-2, giving you momentary with a longer press or constant on with quick press.

Rather then a big yellow warning sticker about the laser, I would prefer they laser engrave the 3 positions into the light itself as I think most people will remove the sticker. Engraving is also much more durable.

Pros

  • Buttons with tactile and audible click
  • Quick open battery door
  • Improved Tool free quick disconnect mounting system
  • High performance but it can’t be sustained due to heat

Cons

  • The addition of the laser makes this quite large and heavier.
  • Holster options will be limited, meaning you may have to have one custom made.
  • Somewhat pricey batteries (CR123A)
  • Strobe interface isn’t ideal requiring pressing both buttons at the same time.

Conclusion
I have enjoyed testing the Olight weapon lights, for me they have worked well on a variety of guns and platforms. The PL-2RL is a nice addition to the line. It’s downfall is it’s size, even on a full size pistol it’s pretty big.. For me it’s probably going to live on one of my AR platforms due to the size and having to get a custom holster. I like the addition of the laser, it makes aiming in the right conditions a little quicker and easier once you have it zeroed in.

I like the Norse mythology name of the PL-2RL Baldr, the god of light. Each weapon light from Olight shows their growth in knowledge and experience in this segment of the industry and this is what you want to see to keep making better products. Olight needs to work with holster manufacturers in advance of a light release to have better support for their weapon lights if they want a wider adoption rate. I am interested to see what they come up with next.